Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Terrific Thanksgivings


Slow-cooked aromas wafting through the crisp autumnal air, and a boisterous home filled with raucous laughter. What do these sights, smells, and sounds conjer up in your memory? For me, these are characteristics of Thanksgiving Day, my favorite holiday of the year. I love the sense of family, gratitude, and warmth that this day ignites.

When I was a child, Thanksgiving held the same traditions each and every year. My festivities began early in the week when my sisters and I ventured to my grandmother's house to spend a few days with her. We would help her prepare a fanciful feast and learn from her terrific cooking talent. Then, our small family would gather together for a late Wednesday evening dinner. It was fabulous! No pomp. No stuffiness. Just good 'ole Southern favorites all in one place, all at one time. The funniest memory of this event is that Grandma is a particular woman. She had to have those styrofoam trays/plates that kept one's food from touching. She would search far and wide to ensure that the trays were on hand to prevent any culinary collisions. At last, the feast was devoured and our bellies were left to rest until the true turkey day arrived.

We spent Thanksgiving Eve at Grandma's house. I can remember setting my alarm to wake up in time for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Slowly, I stumbled and stammered down the extensive hall and into the kitchen to treat myself to a toasty cup of mocha cappucino and a leftover piece of warmed pecan pie. Now, this was the breakfast of champions! I settled into a snuggly chair in Grandma's formal living room, swaddled in a cozy blanket, and flipped on the TV to view the annual parade. I don't know what it is about that parade, but it just fills me with joy and glee.

I always planned the parade just right. You see, my other grandparents had Thanksgiving lunch at their house, which was about 20 minutes away. It took some engineering to make sure that I was there in time for lunch, without missing Santa's appearance in the parade. By the time I walked in the door at Granny and Papaw's, Old Saint Nick was always about to make his famed ride. As soon as I'd witnessed this each year, I was ready to turn off the TV for the day and settle into some fantastic food and pleasant conversation. However, the men always had football at the forefront of their minds.

The day always finished with another delicious meal and a hefty nap before doing the dishes, and then a night cap of some leftover delights.

Thanksgiving has evolved for me in the past few years. It's amazing how that happens as you get older and your family changes. Now, I'm looking for creative new ways to celebrate with my husband and our families. What is unique about your Thanksgiving traditions?

15 comments:

Rebecca Taylor said...

We do turkey biscuits every Thanksgiving morning. I look forward to it EVERY year! They are just biscuits in the shape of turkeys (no turkey is actually in them...haha!), but they are so fun and delicious. It's one of my favorite things!

Julie Adams said...

Don't laugh... Growing up it was only Mom, Dad, Granny Jac, Grandmommy and me. Granny Jac fed us burnt hen and horrid green beans! After Mom passed away it was very sad as the four of us just sat around the table trying to think of conversation... Now Dad and I celebrate with Brenda's family in San Antonio. She has a huge family so it is a whole new world for my only child, grandchild and niece world I lived in my whole life! Family is so important no matter how big or small... it's just that feeling of love that surrounds the table no matter how the food tastes... or even if you are eating burnt hen.

one of nettie's girls said...

Thanksgiving is THE holiday for my family. And it has become much more so since my parents are both gone. My sisters and our families and their families get together every Thanksgiving. We rotate houses. Probably the most unique thing about our Thanksgiving is that we do not eat the traditional holiday fare. One year it was Mexican food, one year potluck favorites from our childhood and this year it is BBQ. The food definitely takes a backseat to just being with my sisters who are my very best friends in the world. I can't wait!

Amy said...

I love Thanksgiving too...I might have to start a new tradition at my home...Pecan pie and mocha cappuccino for breakfast...YUM! Those are two of my favorite things!

I just love being with my family, the smells, the Parade, and the laughter, and of course, the food. I get so tickled every year how the whole family eats way TOO much food, then they just lay around the house like stuffed turkeys. It's probably my favorite day of the year...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
God Bless,
Amy:)

Glamorous Life of a House Wife said...

I love how you timed Santa's entrance perfectly. That is hilarious. And so YOU to have everything down to a tee. (t?)

I don't really have any Thanksgiving traditions. But maybe I will start one this year. I LOVE the parade, though, too!

Sweet Simplicity said...

I love that your grandma insisted on those trays. She sounds like my kind of woman. I hate for my food to touch. Weird, I know!

SweDaisy said...

Sorry I've been away, just caught up on your blog. How sweet is your hubby to shave his head too. With support like that you'll be better and back to your old self in no time. Hugs and prayers.

take care,
Lisa

Lindsey said...

I love the way you write and I enjoyed hearing you Thanksgiving traditions!
I love watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and we usually watched it at my grandparents' house in Florida. This year Garth and I get to continue that tradition and head down to Florida and spend the holiday with the grandparents!=)

Leslie said...

Small world!!! Yes, her name is Brittany Temple. The two of us were crammed in a little office with four other GAs in our department for a year, so we made lots of great memories! So glad you're getting to know her!

Shannon said...

I love Thanksgiving too. My memories are going to my grandparent's "farm" and always taking long walks in the woods and cutting firewood. I still love the smell of firewood.

Cari said...

First of all, my G-ma Faye is the exact same way bout the throw away trays! Oh my goodness, back in her day she would stock up on those things. Now I'm sure she's making my mom search all over for them. That's hilarious!!

My favorite tradition doesn't go back to childhood. It's now. I love being older and having my own family. I love, love, LOVE the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Mom and I spend the entire day prepping for Thanksgiving. And I love it when the girls come in and we have three generations cooking away. And if my Gma is there this year, four generations! That's awesome!!

The Pink Potpourri said...

we always watch the macy's thanksgiving day parade together, and we all stop what we're doing when the Rockettes and Santa come on. as soon as santa crosses the tv screen, the christmas music comes on!

be sure to check out my blog...i have a giveaway going on this weekend!

Liz said...

Culinary collisions. You cracked me up with that one, I've got a hubby that really doesnt like to mix food. :)

I dont remember specific traditions, just loud football and good food. And my Grandad sleeping in a recliner.

Paula/Matt's Mom said...

Lindsey, It is so funny when you get married what tradtions you start to form on your own. Now that we have our three kids. Liv used to go to Grace with Chelsea and Matt works with your dad. But we save Thanksgiving for the five of us and and friends or family that might not have a place to go. Then each of us take a dish and is in charge of that dish and everyone seems to get real territorial especially Matt about his bread pudding sauce. Enjoy your first Thanksgiving with your new husband! The Chaffin's

Melissa Ellen Tweak said...

I love Thanksgiving! I guess the unique thing about our Thanksgiving is possibly the dancing? Maybe the family game of football. I don't know because I know other families do it - but not all families do.

You wonn an award over at my place and you really deserve it!